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FAQ

Dog Adoptions background

Dog Adoptions

How do you properly introduce two dogs?

It is important to make sure you are taking the time to properly introduce two new dogs. When you’re bringing home a new dog, let them meet in a fenced-in area, a neutral area is always better than your own backyard, but your backyard is suitable. Have leashes on both dogs and let them drag, just in case you need to pull them apart. It is best to let the leashes go or have them loose if you do hold them; a tight leash will increase the tension between the dogs. After the dogs have spent some time together in the fenced in area, take them for a walk together. Walks are great bonding opportunities for dogs. Before going into the house together, have one person stay with your current dog outside, while you go into the house with the new dog. Let him sniff around and get familiar before bringing in your current dog who’s waiting outside. This allows the new dog to explore the new environment in peace.

Check out these helpful links!
positively.com/introducing-a-new-dog
www.patriciamcconnell.com/introducing-a-new-dog

What do I need in my home to prepare for our new dog?

Before bringing your new pet home, make sure you do lots of research on what they need!

Here is a starter list for what you will need:

  • A crate
  • Crate mat or bed
  • Food and water dishes
  • Collar and leash
  • ID tag
  • Stain and odour remover
  • Poop pick up bags
  • Toys
  • Food
  • Training treats
  • Shampoo, conditioner and brushes
  • Nail clippers
  • Tooth brush and tooth paste

Check out these helpful links:
www.whenhoundsfly.com/new-rescue-dog-tips
bestfriends.org/bringing-new-dog-home

What determines an age restriction on a dog?

Many dogs that enter the shelter come in as strays and therefore have an unknown history. In general, what determines the age restrictions for a dog are the dog’s temperament, size, age, our observations of the dog in the shelter and the dog’s history, which is unknown for strays. Some examples of a dog that we would deem not suitable for a home with small children would be one that is senior and fragile, a giant breed with resource guarding or a timid, fearful dog that has not been socialized with children.

What is mandatory training?

We ask that training be mandatory for all puppies under 6 months of age and for any dogs that may have behavioural concerns, such as resource guarding. We want your new dog to be set up for success and training is a great place to start. Training classes are great bonding experiences between owners and dogs. In group classes, your new dog learns to focus on you in a high-distraction environment, having plenty of other dogs and people around. For dogs with behavioural concerns, talking to a trainer one on one is a great way to get some pointers and expert advice on how to help solve the problems and make your new dog more comfortable.

What is included in adoption fees?

  • spay or neuter
  • vaccinations – age appropriate/up to date
  • rabies vaccine for all pets 4 months of age or older
  • deworming
  • flea treatment
  • ear mite treatment (if needed)
  • bath and nail trim
  • microchip identification implant and tag
  • 6 weeks of OSPCA Pet Insurance
  • 7 day home trial
  • applicable taxes

Why should I adopt?

With so many animals in need of loving homes, the adoption option has never been easier! In addition to giving an animal a second chance with a new family, it is a financial benefit for YOU to adopt! Did you know that on average, a “free” cat or dog will cost you anywhere from $580-$800 just in initial fees such as spaying/neutering, microchipping and initial vaccines? At Guelph Humane Society these services and procedures are included in the adoption fee, for only a fraction of the price! By adopting you also have the added benefit of having a support system in place that if you need any advice on your new family member, we are only a phone call away!

Cat Adoptions background

Cat Adoptions

What are the problems associated with declawing cats?

Declawing is the act of removing the posterior digit of the cat’s feet.
This includes their nails and the last bone of each toe.

Problems that have been linked with declawing include:

  • Litterbox avoidance
  • Early onset of arthritis
  • Depression
  • Increased aggression and biting
  • Chronic pain
  • Back and hip problems due to them altering their stance (declawing forces them to put their weight on their feet in an unnatural way)
  • The loss of their ability to fully stretch out their bodies

Alternatives to declawing include:

  • Providing suitable scratching posts
  • Trimming their nails
  • Using soft paw applications

How do you properly introduce two cats?

It’s important to properly introduce your new pets properly. This process can vary in time, but it is necessary to ensure the comfort of all pets in the home!
For detailed instructions on how to properly introduce two cats (and cats to dogs) follow this link: ontariospca.ca/helping-your-adopted-cat-and-existing-pets-to-accept-each-other

Can I let my cat outdoors?

There are no by laws in Guelph regarding cats, meaning cats can be let out to roam at the owner’s discretion, however outdoor cats are exposed to many risks that indoor cats are not. Some of the risks include injuries due to cars or other animals and being exposed to a variety of parasites and diseases. Outdoor cats can also cause injury to local wildlife! The Guelph Humane Society is a proud participant of the “Cats & Birds” campaign. For more information please visit Cats and Birds!

What do the vaccinations the cats receive protect against?

The yearly vaccination and boosters protect the cat from the feline rhinotracheitis, calici and lanleukopenia viruses and aids in the reduction of disease due to Chlamydia psittaci.

What is FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus)? Are there any concerns?

Affected cats can appear normal for years, however may have difficulties fighting off secondary infections.
Cats receiving regular medical supportive care, consistent health monitoring and kept indoors in a stress-free environment can help your cat to continue to live a long, healthy, happy life.
For more information visit: aspca.org/common-cat-diseases

How do you stop a cat from inappropriate elimination? I.e. Outside the litter box

They could be doing this because of the litter box itself, the environment, declawing status, the cat’s own stress or a medical issue.
You can:

  • Change the litter box type, location or litter used
  • Try to decrease stressful environments, or give time to adapt
  • It is important to take your cat the veterinarian if it develops inappropriate elimination. They can rule out/treat many causes.

How do you prevent a cat from scratching furniture?

The main thing to do is to provide suitable scratching posts for them to use as a substitute.
To help them use the scratching post you can:

  • Play with your cat on the post
  • Put catnip on the post for your cat to enjoy
  • If they are scratching where they shouldn’t, bring them to the scratching post
  • Give lots of praise when they do use it!

How can I make vet trips easier for my cat?

Most cats are fearful of vet visits.

Here are some tips to help ease this scary trip:

  • Have the cat accustomed to the carrier by leaving it out in the house, so it can be regularly used as a sleeping or hiding place, place toys or treats in the carrier, and use a soft familiar bedding in the carrier.
  • You can try the pheromone spray Feliway, which helps comfort cats by mimicking facial pheromones, by spraying the carrier before travelling
  • You can place a towel over the carrier in the car, to prevent the cat from seeing threatening stimuli or to help prevent nausea
  • Make sure the carrier is secured, stable and kept horizontal in the car

Check out this helpful link for more information: ontariospca.ca/getting-your-cat-to-the-vet

What do I need in our home to prepare for our new cat?

Before bringing your new pet home, make sure you do lots of research on what they need!

Here is a starter list for what you will need:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Litter box
  • Scratching posts/materials
  • Toys

What is the Special Souls Adoption Program?

The Special Souls Adoption Program was created to help expedite the adoption for animals which traditionally, would be harder to find loving homes for (e.g., seniors, bonded pairs, shy/scared animals etc.). The program aims to match adopters by informing them for when an animal which meets their indicated preferences becomes available for adoption!

Interested participants complete a survey which Guelph Humane Society will keep on file for 6 months. The Adoption Coordinator will note any special circumstances as noted on the application (e.g., any children in the home, housing situation, fenced-in yard, etc.) and if a potential match comes along, will contact you! There is no fee to participate- and at the end of the 6 months we follow up to see if you’re still interested in finding a special friend! This program can help lessen the lengthy stay of these sweet animals in the shelter by placing them in loving homes faster! For more information OR to receive an electronic Special Soul Adoption Survey, please email adoptions@guelphhumane.ca.

Small Animal Adoptions background

Small Animal Adoptions

What are the benefits or reasons behind spaying/neutering rabbits?

Spaying or neutering rabbits is beneficial for a number of reasons. This small surgery can help increase their lifespan and reduce the risk of developing reproductive cancers. Removing these hormones also means that your rabbit’s temperament will be calmer and a spayed or neutered rabbit is easier to litter train!

How do you properly introduce rabbits?

Properly introducing rabbits is a slow process, but it is worth it!

Check out this video for more information!

How much socialization do the small animals need?

Remember, you can never socialize a small animal enough! Small animals require at least 1-2 hours of out of cage time per day, with their owners. Remember, these animals are not able to stay in their cages all the time!

Is it possible to litter train a small animal?

It is possible to litter train small animals! It is much easier to little train a spayed/neutered small animal.

Check out this video for more information! 

What do we need in our home for our new rabbit or other small animals?

Before bringing your new pet home, make sure you do lots of research on what they need!

Here is a starter list for what you will need:

  • A large living area, such as a large cage or gated area for your small animal to live in. Remember, the bigger, the better!
  • Nutritious food, specialized for your pet. A high quality hay based pellets are the best!
  • Bedding such as shredded paper, Care fresh paper bedding or fleece blankets.
  • If your pet requires hay in their diet, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, high quality timothy hay is best!
  • Positive chew toys, such as wooden chews to allow your small pet to wear their teeth down!
  • A hiding space to allow for their comfort.